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Wild weather: Hurricanes, tsunamis and quakes threaten millions

Monday - 01/10/2018 11:33
A POWERFUL series of quakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and other storm systems are rattling the globe in the wake of almost a thousands deaths in Indonesia.
Typhoon Trami off the Japanese South Coast in the Philippine Sea on September 27, 2018. Picture: Agustin Paullier / AFP.Source:AFP
Typhoon Trami off the Japanese South Coast in the Philippine Sea on September 27, 2018. Picture: Agustin Paullier / AFP.Source:AFP

A MONSTER typhoon has started to thrash Japan, and a hurricane is on track to wreak havoc in Mexico as Indonesia struggles in the aftermath of a catastrophic tsunami which killed at least 830 people.

There are fears that the natural events could spell disaster for more vulnerable people after a magnitude 7.5 earthquake created a tsunami that formed a wall of water as high as six metres, in Indonesia, on Friday evening.

One of the hardest hit areas was the city of Palu on Sulawesi island, where more than 830 people have been confirmed dead and many more injured. But officials fear the death toll could climb much higher. Hundreds more people are believed to be buried underneath the expansive rubble of collapsed buildings.

Voices that could earlier be heard screaming for help from people trapped below are slowly fading out, according to local reports. Authorities are scrambling to rescue survivors but are faced with severe challenges including a lack of equipment and hard-to-reach areas.

As rescue teams battled the conditions on Sunday to save as many people as possible, a powerful typhoon sliced through Japan after making landfall in the evening. Typhoon Trami has killed at least two people and injured dozens, halting transport, and bringing fierce winds and torrential rain to areas already battered by a string of recent extreme weather episodes.

About 36,000 people were taking shelter in temporary evacuation centres as Trami crossed Japan overnight with strong winds and heavy rains after making landfall around the western city of Tanabe at 9pm (AEST) on Sunday, Kyodo News reported.

The storm could also generate waves up to 11 metres high around the Kanto region, the agency added.

Typhoon Trami sparked travel disruption in the world’s third-biggest economy, with bullet train services suspended, more than 1,000 flights cancelled and Tokyo’s evening train services scrapped.

National broadcaster NHK reported that one man had died in Tottori prefecture on Honshu island and another on in the central city of Fujiyoshida.

At least 84 people suffered minor injuries, many hurt by windows shattered in the driving wind, and one woman in her 60s was reported missing amid fears she was swept into a gutter.

After pummelling Japan’s outlying islands including Okinawa, the storm made landfall south of the city of Osaka in the western part of the country about 8pm local time.

Bodies of tsunami victims in Palu, on Sulawesi island, Indonesia, on September 29, 2018. Picture: Ola Gondronk / AFP.
Bodies of tsunami victims in Palu, on Sulawesi island, Indonesia, on September 29, 2018. Picture: Ola Gondronk / AFP.Source:AFP

 

A tsunami swept away buildings and killed hundreds on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Picture: AP/Tatan Syuflana.
A tsunami swept away buildings and killed hundreds on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Picture: AP/Tatan Syuflana.Source:AP

An official in the town of Shirahama near where Trami made landfall, Yuji Ueno, told AFP the winds were “enormous” and made it impossible to venture outside.

“We saw incredible winds and rain. I stepped outside the city hall in the afternoon, and the rain was swirling in very strong wind. Enormous wind,” Ueno said. “It was difficult to stay standing. It was very scary.”

Trami, which at its height packed maximum gusts of 216km/h, was expected to churn over most of the archipelago, weakening slightly but causing extreme weather into Monday, forecasters said.

Weather officials have warned of potential flooding and landslides and non-compulsory evacuation advisories have been issued to around four million residents, according to public broadcaster NHK.

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